Largest polynya

Last updated: October 15, 2017 at 23:47 pm

A polynya is an area of open water surrounded by sea ice. The Weddell Polynya in the Southern Ocean had a record surface area of 350,000 sq km during the austral winters from 1974 to 1976. In the Arctic Ocean, the surface area of a polynya known as the North Water, or Pikialasorsuaq in Greenlandic, extends up to 85,000 sq km (33,000 sq mile) between Canada’s Baffin Island and Greenland every summer.

Lewis, E. L.; et al. (1996). Springtime sensible heat, nutrients and phytoplankton in the Northwater Polynya, Canadian Arctic. Cont. Shelf Res16: 1775–1792.

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